Public protest against bank plans in Taghmon
A petition signed by hundreds of people was hand-delivered to the Bank of Ireland in Taghmon yesterday (Monday) afternoon, calling for a counter service to be retained in the villages's only bank.
The petition expressed the 'shock and annoyance' of business people and the general community over a Bank of Ireland proposal to end its counter service in Taghmon on August 2 , asking customers to use machines instead.
A spokeswoman for the protestors said the move is 'another nail in the coffin of rural Ireland which she said would 'effectively close the bank as an active branch'. The petition calls on the bank to continue offering a counter service even for one day a week.
'Many elderly people are not computer literate but even if they were, the lack of broadband in the area makes it difficult to conduct business online.
'What is the alternative. Are elderly people going to hoard money at home, making themselves sitting ducks for criminals? Has the bank given any consideration to their plight?' she asked.
'Is there a need for such a drastic cut in service in this area? Could there not be a limited continuation of service even for one day a week, to cater for the old and the vulnerable and the business community?'
The spokeswoman who runs a business in Taghmon accused the bank of 'turning its back on a community which has loyally supported it for many years'.
She said local people are urging the bank to reverse the policy and adapt it in order to continue providing a vital service to the local community.